India's highest court has refused a
request to review its ruling reinstating the nation's ban on gay sex.
In 2009 – just days after gay
activists staged Gay Pride parades in several cities for the first
time – the Delhi High Court of India declared intercourse between
two consenting members of the same sex legal.
The verdict overturned a law that
banned gay sex in India, a holdover from British colonial rule, known
as Section 377 of India's penal code. Violators of the law face up
to 10 years in jail.
The Supreme Court in December threw out
the lower court's ruling, saying only lawmakers could change Section
The government joined gay rights
activists in asking the court to review its decision.
“We see no reason to interfere with
the order impugned. The review petitions are dismissed,” Justices
H.L. Dattu and S.J. Mukhopadhaya said in their ruling.
Activists said they would pursue the
last-ditch effort of a “curative petition,” which is heard by a
panel of five justices.
Anjali Gopalan, founder of Naz
Foundation, which worked on the legal challenge, told
the AFP that repealing the law through the legislature could take
“The route through parliament would
be a very long drawn-out process and at this point we have the
elections coming,” Gopalan said.